Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Kristen Lamb's Five Common Writing Hazards

I think I've mentioned this before, but if you don't follow Kristen Lamb's blog, do it! It's very helpful, and she updates frequently.

Monday she wrote a post entitle 5 Common Writing Hazards that "seem to plague virtually all new writers." I've listed them below, but I recommend reading the full article.

1. If your novel has more character than the cast of Ben Hur, you might
    need a revision
2. If your novel dumps the reader right into major action, you might
    need a revision
3. Painful and alien movement of body parts
4. Too much physiology
5. Adverbs are evil

For #3, if possible, I recommend actually trying the movement out yourself to see if it works. (I recall straddling my sister in the dining room trying to determine if a certain move would work in a fight. It didn't. And I think it left her slightly traumatized.)

#2 is interesting, since I've heard both sides of the argument on this. What's yours?

(Note: image taken from


  1. Ha ha. I laughed at the painful and alien movement. That's pretty hilarious. But I'll admit, I've been guilty of the others.

  2. Just so you're not creeped out, that last comment was left by me in my hubby's profile. sorry.

  3. I've heard some agents, at conferences, mention that starting with action can be a great hook to capture the reader. But I've also learned that for every rule there's someone with a fantastic book that didn't exactly follow all the rules and was dubbed "so original" so...who knows.

    The one about the alien movement of body parts? Yeah, that is hilarious.

  4. I'm curious as to the adverb rule. I know excessive, or even plain use of adverbs is "evil" but what about when writing for younger readers? You can't just throw all your amazing diction at them to convey the mood of the expression. Could there be a little leeway in this case? I dunno. I'll leave it for the beta readers to decide, I guess. :/